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Devotions & Studies / November 18: Ezekiel 17–19; Hebrews 13
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 19, 2017, 06:24:31 AM »
November 18: Ezekiel 17–19; Hebrews 13

Morning: Ezekiel 17–19
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 13
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Ezekiel 17–19 Ezekiel 17–19
     

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          Ezekiel 17–19
Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine
17 The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, propound a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel; say, Thus says the Lord GOD: A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, rich in plumage of many colors, came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar. He broke off the topmost of its young twigs and carried it to a land of trade and set it in a city of merchants. Then he took of the seed of the land and planted it in fertile soil.1 He placed it beside abundant waters. He set it like a willow twig, and it sprouted and became a low spreading vine, and its branches turned toward him, and its roots remained where it stood. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out boughs.
“And there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage, and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and shot forth its branches toward him from the bed where it was planted, that he might water it. It had been planted on good soil by abundant waters, that it might produce branches and bear fruit and become a noble vine.
“Say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers, so that all its fresh sprouting leaves wither? It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it from its roots. Behold, it is planted; will it thrive? Will it not utterly wither when the east wind strikes it—wither away on the bed where it sprouted?”
Then the word of the LORD came to me: “Say now to the rebellious house, Do you not know what these things mean? Tell them, behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took her king and her princes and brought them to him to Babylon. And he took one of the royal offspring2 and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath (the chief men of the land he had taken away), that the kingdom might be humble and not lift itself up, and keep his covenant that it might stand. But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and a large army. Will he thrive? Can one escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant and yet escape?
“As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant with him he broke, in Babylon he shall die. Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not help him in war, when mounds are cast up and siege walls built to cut off many lives. He despised the oath in breaking the covenant, and behold, he gave his hand and did all these things; he shall not escape. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: As I live, surely it is my oath that he despised, and my covenant that he broke. I will return it upon his head. I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there for the treachery he has committed against me. And all the pick3 of his troops shall fall by the sword, and the survivors shall be scattered to every wind, and you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken.”
Thus says the Lord GOD: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.”
The Soul Who Sins Shall Die
18 The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you4 mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.
“If a man is righteous and does what is just and right—if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit,5 withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD.
“If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor's wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.
“Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife, does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, withholds his hand from iniquity,6 takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity.
“Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
“But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die.
“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.7 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”
A Lament for the Princes of Israel
19 And you, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, and say:

  What was your mother? A lioness!    Among lions she crouched;  in the midst of young lions    she reared her cubs.  And she brought up one of her cubs;    he became a young lion,  and he learned to catch prey;    he devoured men.  The nations heard about him;    he was caught in their pit,  and they brought him with hooks    to the land of Egypt.  When she saw that she waited in vain,    that her hope was lost,  she took another of her cubs    and made him a young lion.  He prowled among the lions;    he became a young lion,  and he learned to catch prey;    he devoured men,  and seized8 their widows.    He laid waste their cities,  and the land was appalled and all who were in it    at the sound of his roaring.  Then the nations set against him    from provinces on every side;  they spread their net over him;    he was taken in their pit.  With hooks they put him in a cage9    and brought him to the king of Babylon;    they brought him into custody,  that his voice should no more be heard    on the mountains of Israel.

  Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard10    planted by the water,  fruitful and full of branches    by reason of abundant water.  Its strong stems became    rulers' scepters;  it towered aloft    among the thick boughs;11  it was seen in its height    with the mass of its branches.  But the vine was plucked up in fury,    cast down to the ground;  the east wind dried up its fruit;    they were stripped off and withered.  As for its strong stem,    fire consumed it.  Now it is planted in the wilderness,    in a dry and thirsty land.  And fire has gone out from the stem of its shoots,    has consumed its fruit,  so that there remains in it no strong stem,    no scepter for ruling.
This is a lamentation and has become a lamentation.

Footnotes
[1] 17:5 Hebrew in a field of seed

[2] 17:13 Hebrew seed

[3] 17:21 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts all the fugitives

[4] 18:2 The Hebrew for you is plural

[5] 18:8 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor; also verses 13, 17 (compare Leviticus 25:36)

[6] 18:17 Septuagint; Hebrew from the poor

[7] 18:30 Or lest iniquity be your stumbling block

[8] 19:7 Hebrew knew

[9] 19:9 Or in a wooden collar

[10] 19:10 Some Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts in your blood

[11] 19:11 Or the clouds


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Hebrews 13 Hebrews 13
     

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          Hebrews 13
Sacrifices Pleasing to God
13 Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

  “The Lord is my helper;    I will not fear;  what can man do to me?”
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent1 have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Benediction
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us2 that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Final Greetings
I appeal to you, brothers,3 bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. Grace be with all of you.

Footnotes
[1] 13:10 Or tabernacle

[2] 13:21 Some manuscripts you

[3] 13:22 Or brothers and sisters


(ESV)
       
     
   
 

  © 2017 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.

Source: November 18: Ezekiel 17–19; Hebrews 13
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Devotions & Studies / November 17: Ezekiel 16; Hebrews 12
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 17, 2017, 07:05:04 PM »
November 17: Ezekiel 16; Hebrews 12

Morning: Ezekiel 16
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 12
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Ezekiel 16 Ezekiel 16
     

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          Ezekiel 16
The Lord's Faithless Bride
16 Again the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.
“And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.
“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord GOD, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk.1 And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord GOD.
“But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore2 because of your renown and lavished your whorings3 on any passerby; your beauty4 became his. You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be.5 You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore. And you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them. Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with fine flour and oil and honey—you set before them for a pleasing aroma; and so it was, declares the Lord GOD. And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them? And in all your abominations and your whorings you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, wallowing in your blood.
“And after all your wickedness (woe, woe to you! declares the Lord GOD), you built yourself a vaulted chamber and made yourself a lofty place in every square. At the head of every street you built your lofty place and made your beauty an abomination, offering yourself6 to any passerby and multiplying your whoring. You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger. Behold, therefore, I stretched out my hand against you and diminished your allotted portion and delivered you to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior. You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied. You multiplied your whoring also with the trading land of Chaldea, and even with this you were not satisfied.
“How sick is your heart,7 declares the Lord GOD, because you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen prostitute, building your vaulted chamber at the head of every street, and making your lofty place in every square. Yet you were not like a prostitute, because you scorned payment. Adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband! Men give gifts to all prostitutes, but you gave your gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from every side with your whorings. So you were different from other women in your whorings. No one solicited you to play the whore, and you gave payment, while no payment was given to you; therefore you were different.
“Therefore, O prostitute, hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your whorings with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children that you gave to them, therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from every side and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. And I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy. And I will give you into their hands, and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber and break down your lofty places. They shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful jewels and leave you naked and bare. They shall bring up a crowd against you, and they shall stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. And they shall burn your houses and execute judgments upon you in the sight of many women. I will make you stop playing the whore, and you shall also give payment no more. So will I satisfy my wrath on you, and my jealousy shall depart from you. I will be calm and will no more be angry. Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have enraged me with all these things, therefore, behold, I have returned your deeds upon your head, declares the Lord GOD. Have you not committed lewdness in addition to all your abominations?
“Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. And your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters. Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. As I live, declares the Lord GOD, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed. Bear your disgrace, you also, for you have intervened on behalf of your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. So be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.
“I will restore their fortunes, both the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your own fortunes in their midst, that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all that you have done, becoming a consolation to them. As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former state, and you and your daughters shall return to your former state. Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride, before your wickedness was uncovered? Now you have become an object of reproach for the daughters of Syria8 and all those around her, and for the daughters of the Philistines, those all around who despise you. You bear the penalty of your lewdness and your abominations, declares the LORD.
The Lord's Everlasting Covenant
“For thus says the Lord GOD: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and I give them to you as daughters, but not on account of9 the covenant with you. I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord GOD.”

Footnotes
[1] 16:10 Or with rich fabric

[2] 16:15 Or were unfaithful; also verses 16, 17, 26, 28

[3] 16:15 Or unfaithfulness; also verses 20, 22, 25, 26, 29, 33, 34, 36

[4] 16:15 Hebrew it

[5] 16:16 The meaning of this Hebrew sentence is uncertain

[6] 16:25 Hebrew spreading your legs

[7] 16:30 Revocalization yields How I am filled with anger against you

[8] 16:57 Some manuscripts (compare Syriac) of Edom

[9] 16:61 Or not apart from


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        Evening: Hebrews 12 Hebrews 12
     

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          Hebrews 12
Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Do Not Grow Weary
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

  “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,    nor be weary when reproved by him.  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,    and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken
For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly1 of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Footnotes
[1] 12:23 Or church


(ESV)
       
     
   
 

  © 2017 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.

Source: November 17: Ezekiel 16; Hebrews 12
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Devotions & Studies / November 16: Ezekiel 13–15; Hebrews 11:20–40
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 16, 2017, 06:51:53 PM »
November 16: Ezekiel 13–15; Hebrews 11:20–40

Morning: Ezekiel 13–15
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 11:20–40
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Ezekiel 13–15 Ezekiel 13–15
     

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          Ezekiel 13–15
False Prophets Condemned
13 The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the LORD!’ Thus says the Lord GOD, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the LORD. They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the LORD,’ when the LORD has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the LORD,’ although I have not spoken?”
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord GOD. My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord GOD. Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash,1 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the LORD. Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord GOD.
“And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own hearts. Prophesy against them and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.
“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the LORD. Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the LORD.”
Idolatrous Elders Condemned
14 Then certain of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them? Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols, that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are all estranged from me through their idols.
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the LORD will answer him myself. And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the LORD. And if the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the LORD, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. And they shall bear their punishment2—the punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer shall be alike—that the house of Israel may no more go astray from me, nor defile themselves anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be my people and I may be their God, declares the Lord GOD.”
Jerusalem Will Not Be Spared
And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply3 of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord GOD.
“If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, even if these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.
“Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, and I cut off from it man and beast, though these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered.
“Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.
“For thus says the Lord GOD: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. They will console you, when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, declares the Lord GOD.”
Jerusalem, a Useless Vine
15 And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, how does the wood of the vine surpass any wood, the vine branch that is among the trees of the forest? Is wood taken from it to make anything? Do people take a peg from it to hang any vessel on it? Behold, it is given to the fire for fuel. When the fire has consumed both ends of it, and the middle of it is charred, is it useful for anything? Behold, when it was whole, it was used for nothing. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it ever be used for anything! Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them. Though they escape from the fire, the fire shall yet consume them, and you will know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have acted faithlessly, declares the Lord GOD.”

Footnotes
[1] 13:10 Or plaster; also verses 11, 14, 15

[2] 14:10 Or iniquity; three times in this verse

[3] 14:13 Hebrew staff


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Hebrews 11:20–40 Hebrews 11:20–40
     

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          Hebrews 11:20–40
By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two,1 they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Footnotes
[1] 11:37 Some manuscripts add they were tempted


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Source: November 16: Ezekiel 13–15; Hebrews 11:20–40
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Devotions & Studies / November 15: Ezekiel 10–12; Hebrews 11:1–19
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 15, 2017, 06:33:51 PM »
November 15: Ezekiel 10–12; Hebrews 11:1–19

Morning: Ezekiel 10–12
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 11:1–19
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Ezekiel 10–12 Ezekiel 10–12
     

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          Ezekiel 10–12
The Glory of the Lord Leaves the Temple
10 Then I looked, and behold, on the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire,1 in appearance like a throne. And he said to the man clothed in linen, “Go in among the whirling wheels underneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.”
And he went in before my eyes. Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the house, when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court. And the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub to the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD. And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks.
And when he commanded the man clothed in linen, “Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim,” he went in and stood beside a wheel. And a cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim, and took some of it and put it into the hands of the man clothed in linen, who took it and went out. The cherubim appeared to have the form of a human hand under their wings.
And I looked, and behold, there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub, and the appearance of the wheels was like sparkling beryl. And as for their appearance, the four had the same likeness, as if a wheel were within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions2 without turning as they went, but in whatever direction the front wheel3 faced, the others followed without turning as they went. And their whole body, their rims, and their spokes, their wings,4 and the wheels were full of eyes all around—the wheels that the four of them had. As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing “the whirling wheels.” And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was a human face, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
And the cherubim mounted up. These were the living creatures that I saw by the Chebar canal. And when the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them. And when the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the wheels did not turn from beside them. When they stood still, these stood still, and when they mounted up, these mounted up with them, for the spirit of the living creatures5 was in them.
Then the glory of the LORD went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out, with the wheels beside them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the LORD, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.
These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the Chebar canal; and I knew that they were cherubim. Each had four faces, and each four wings, and underneath their wings the likeness of human hands. And as for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the Chebar canal. Each one of them went straight forward.
Judgment on Wicked Counselors
11 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the house of the LORD, which faces east. And behold, at the entrance of the gateway there were twenty-five men. And I saw among them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. And he said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city; who say, ‘The time is not near6 to build houses. This city is the cauldron, and we are the meat.’ Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, O son of man.”
And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind. You have multiplied your slain in this city and have filled its streets with the slain. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the meat, and this city is the cauldron, but you shall be brought out of the midst of it. You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you, declares the Lord GOD. And I will bring you out of the midst of it, and give you into the hands of foreigners, and execute judgments upon you. You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am the LORD. This city shall not be your cauldron, nor shall you be the meat in the midst of it. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am the LORD. For you have not walked in my statutes, nor obeyed my rules, but have acted according to the rules of the nations that are around you.”
And it came to pass, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell down on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?”
Israel's New Heart and Spirit
And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, your kinsmen,7 the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far from the LORD; to us this land is given for a possession.’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while8 in the countries where they have gone.’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will9 bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord GOD.”
Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city. And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in the vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up from me. And I told the exiles all the things that the LORD had shown me.
Judah's Captivity Symbolized
12 The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house. As for you, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight. You shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though10 they are a rebellious house. You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile, and you shall go out yourself at evening in their sight, as those do who must go into exile. In their sight dig through the wall, and bring your baggage out through it. In their sight you shall lift the baggage upon your shoulder and carry it out at dusk. You shall cover your face that you may not see the land, for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel.”
And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands. I brought out my baggage at dusk, carrying it on my shoulder in their sight.
In the morning the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concerns11 the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.’12 Say, ‘I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them. They shall go into exile, into captivity.’ And the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage upon his shoulder at dusk, and shall go out. They shall dig through the wall to bring him out through it. He shall cover his face, that he may not see the land with his eyes. And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. And I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, yet he shall not see it, and he shall die there. And I will scatter toward every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops, and I will unsheathe the sword after them. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries. But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the LORD.”
And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink water with trembling and with anxiety. And say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink water in dismay. In this way her land will be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it. And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, what is this proverb that you13 have about the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing’? Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.’ But say to them, The days are near, and the fulfillment14 of every vision. For there shall be no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the LORD; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord GOD.”
And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord GOD.”

Footnotes
[1] 10:1 Or lapis lazuli

[2] 10:11 Hebrew to their four sides

[3] 10:11 Hebrew the head

[4] 10:12 Or their whole body, their backs, their hands, and their wings

[5] 10:17 Or spirit of life

[6] 11:3 Or Is not the time near . . . ?

[7] 11:15 Hebrew the men of your redemption

[8] 11:16 Or in small measure

[9] 11:21 Hebrew To the heart of their detestable things and their abominations their heart goes; I will

[10] 12:3 Or will see that

[11] 12:10 Or This burden is

[12] 12:10 Hebrew in the midst of them

[13] 12:22 The Hebrew for you is plural

[14] 12:23 Hebrew word


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        Evening: Hebrews 11:1–19 Hebrews 11:1–19
     

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          Hebrews 11:1–19
By Faith
11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
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Source: November 15: Ezekiel 10–12; Hebrews 11:1–19
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Devotions & Studies / November 14: Ezekiel 7–9; Hebrews 10:24–39
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 15, 2017, 06:06:39 AM »
November 14: Ezekiel 7–9; Hebrews 10:24–39

Morning: Ezekiel 7–9
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 10:24–39
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Ezekiel 7–9 Ezekiel 7–9
     

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          Ezekiel 7–9
The Day of the Wrath of the Lord
7 The word of the LORD came to me: “And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.1 Now the end is upon you, and I will send my anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations. And my eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity, but I will punish you for your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
“Thus says the Lord GOD: Disaster after disaster!2 Behold, it comes. An end has come; the end has come; it has awakened against you. Behold, it comes. Your doom3 has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come; the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting on the mountains. Now I will soon pour out my wrath upon you, and spend my anger against you, and judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations. And my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the LORD, who strikes.
“Behold, the day! Behold, it comes! Your doom has come; the rod has blossomed; pride has budded. Violence has grown up into a rod of wickedness. None of them shall remain, nor their abundance, nor their wealth; neither shall there be preeminence among them.4 The time has come; the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for wrath is upon all their multitude.5 For the seller shall not return to what he has sold, while they live. For the vision concerns all their multitude; it shall not turn back; and because of his iniquity, none can maintain his life.6
“They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but none goes to battle, for my wrath is upon all their multitude. The sword is without; pestilence and famine are within. He who is in the field dies by the sword, and him who is in the city famine and pestilence devour. And if any survivors escape, they will be on the mountains, like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, each one over his iniquity. All hands are feeble, and all knees turn to water. They put on sackcloth, and horror covers them. Shame is on all faces, and baldness on all their heads. They cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity. His beautiful ornament they used for pride, and they made their abominable images and their detestable things of it. Therefore I make it an unclean thing to them. And I will give it into the hands of foreigners for prey, and to the wicked of the earth for spoil, and they shall profane it. I will turn my face from them, and they shall profane my treasured7 place. Robbers shall enter and profane it.
“Forge a chain!8 For the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence. I will bring the worst of the nations to take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the pride of the strong, and their holy places9 shall be profaned. When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there shall be none. Disaster comes upon disaster; rumor follows rumor. They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law10 perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders. The king mourns, the prince is wrapped in despair, and the hands of the people of the land are paralyzed by terror. According to their way I will do to them, and according to their judgments I will judge them, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”
Abominations in the Temple
8 In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there. Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man.11 Below what appeared to be his waist was fire, and above his waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal.12 He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the valley.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north.” So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy. And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see still greater abominations.”
And he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, there was a hole in the wall. Then he said to me, “Son of man, dig in the wall.” So I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance. And he said to me, “Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” So I went in and saw. And there, engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up. Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.’” He said also to me, “You will see still greater abominations that they commit.”
Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD, and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? You will see still greater abominations than these.”
And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east. Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence and provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their13 nose. Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”
Idolaters Killed
9 Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the LORD said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. Then he said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out.” So they went out and struck in the city. And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”
Then he said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see.’ As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.”
And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his waist, brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded me.”

Footnotes
[1] 7:2 Or earth

[2] 7:5 Some Hebrew manuscripts (compare Syriac, Targum); most Hebrew manuscripts Disaster! A unique disaster!

[3] 7:7 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; also verse 10

[4] 7:11 The meaning of this last Hebrew sentence is uncertain

[5] 7:12 Or abundance; also verses 13, 14

[6] 7:13 The meaning of this last Hebrew sentence is uncertain

[7] 7:22 Or secret

[8] 7:23 Probably refers to an instrument of captivity

[9] 7:24 By revocalization (compare Septuagint); Hebrew and those who sanctify them

[10] 7:26 Or instruction

[11] 8:2 By revocalization (compare Septuagint); Hebrew of fire

[12] 8:2 Or amber

[13] 8:17 Or my


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Hebrews 10:24–39 Hebrews 10:24–39
     

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          Hebrews 10:24–39
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For,

  “Yet a little while,    and the coming one will come and will not delay;  but my righteous one shall live by faith,    and if he shrinks back,  my soul has no pleasure in him.”
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
(ESV)
       
     
   
 

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Source: November 14: Ezekiel 7–9; Hebrews 10:24–39
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Devotions & Studies / November 13: Ezekiel 4–6; Hebrews 10:1–23
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 14, 2017, 12:35:50 AM »
November 13: Ezekiel 4–6; Hebrews 10:1–23

Morning: Ezekiel 4–6
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 10:1–23
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Ezekiel 4–6 Ezekiel 4–6
     

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          Ezekiel 4–6
The Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized
4 “And you, son of man, take a brick and lay it before you, and engrave on it a city, even Jerusalem. And put siegeworks against it, and build a siege wall against it, and cast up a mound against it. Set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it all around. And you, take an iron griddle, and place it as an iron wall between you and the city; and set your face toward it, and let it be in a state of siege, and press the siege against it. This is a sign for the house of Israel.
“Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment1 of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment. For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel. And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year. And you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with your arm bared, and you shall prophesy against the city. And behold, I will place cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from one side to the other, till you have completed the days of your siege.
“And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer,2 and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it. And your food that you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels3 a day; from day to day4 you shall eat it. And water you shall drink by measure, the sixth part of a hin;5 from day to day you shall drink. And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung.” And the LORD said, “Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I have never defiled myself.6 From my youth up till now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has tainted meat come into my mouth.” Then he said to me, “See, I assign to you cow's dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread.” Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, behold, I will break the supply7 of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay. I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and rot away because of their punishment.
Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed
5 “And you, O son of man, take a sharp sword. Use it as a barber's razor and pass it over your head and your beard. Then take balances for weighing and divide the hair. A third part you shall burn in the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. And a third part you shall take and strike with the sword all around the city. And a third part you shall scatter to the wind, and I will unsheathe the sword after them. And you shall take from these a small number and bind them in the skirts of your robe. And of these again you shall take some and cast them into the midst of the fire and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will come out into all the house of Israel.
“Thus says the Lord GOD: This is Jerusalem. I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. And she has rebelled against my rules by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries all around her; for they have rejected my rules and have not walked in my statutes. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you, and have not walked in my statutes or obeyed my rules, and have not8 even acted according to the rules of the nations that are all around you, therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, even I, am against you. And I will execute judgments9 in your midst in the sight of the nations. And because of all your abominations I will do with you what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again. Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers. And I will execute judgments on you, and any of you who survive I will scatter to all the winds. Therefore, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will withdraw.10 My eye will not spare, and I will have no pity. A third part of you shall die of pestilence and be consumed with famine in your midst; a third part shall fall by the sword all around you; and a third part I will scatter to all the winds and will unsheathe the sword after them.
“Thus shall my anger spend itself, and I will vent my fury upon them and satisfy myself. And they shall know that I am the LORD—that I have spoken in my jealousy—when I spend my fury upon them. Moreover, I will make you a desolation and an object of reproach among the nations all around you and in the sight of all who pass by. You shall be11 a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations all around you, when I execute judgments on you in anger and fury, and with furious rebukes—I am the LORD; I have spoken—when I send against you12 the deadly arrows of famine, arrows for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, and when I bring more and more famine upon you and break your supply13 of bread. I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will rob you of your children. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword upon you. I am the LORD; I have spoken.”
Judgment Against Idolatry
6 The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain before your idols. And I will lay the dead bodies of the people of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you dwell, the cities shall be waste and the high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined,14 your idols broken and destroyed, your incense altars cut down, and your works wiped out. And the slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
“Yet I will leave some of you alive. When you have among the nations some who escape the sword, and when you are scattered through the countries, then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from me and over their eyes that go whoring after their idols. And they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations. And they shall know that I am the LORD. I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them.”
Thus says the Lord GOD: “Clap your hands and stamp your foot and say, Alas, because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel, for they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. He who is far off shall die of pestilence, and he who is near shall fall by the sword, and he who is left and is preserved shall die of famine. Thus I will spend my fury upon them. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak, wherever they offered pleasing aroma to all their idols. And I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land desolate and waste, in all their dwelling places, from the wilderness to Riblah.15 Then they will know that I am the LORD.”

Footnotes
[1] 4:4 Or iniquity; also verses 5, 6, 17

[2] 4:9 A type of wheat

[3] 4:10 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

[4] 4:10 Or at a set time daily; also verse 11

[5] 4:11 A hin was about 4 quarts or 3.5 liters

[6] 4:14 Hebrew my soul (or throat) has never been made unclean

[7] 4:16 Hebrew staff

[8] 5:7 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac lack not

[9] 5:8 The same Hebrew expression can mean obey rules, or execute judgments, depending on the context

[10] 5:11 Some Hebrew manuscripts I will cut you down

[11] 5:15 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum; Masoretic Text And it shall be

[12] 5:16 Hebrew them

[13] 5:16 Hebrew staff

[14] 6:6 Or and punished

[15] 6:14 Some Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts Diblah


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Hebrews 10:1–23 Hebrews 10:1–23
     

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          Hebrews 10:1–23
Christ's Sacrifice Once for All
10 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Consequently, when Christ1 came into the world, he said,

  “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,    but a body have you prepared for me;  in burnt offerings and sin offerings    you have taken no pleasure.  Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,    as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”
When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ2 had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

  “This is the covenant that I will make with them    after those days, declares the Lord:  I will put my laws on their hearts,    and write them on their minds,”
then he adds,

  “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
The Full Assurance of Faith
Therefore, brothers,3 since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Footnotes
[1] 10:5 Greek he

[2] 10:12 Greek this one

[3] 10:19 Or brothers and sisters


(ESV)
       
     
   
 

  © 2017 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.

Source: November 13: Ezekiel 4–6; Hebrews 10:1–23
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Devotions & Studies / November 12: Ezekiel 1–3; Hebrews 9
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 13, 2017, 06:07:35 AM »
November 12: Ezekiel 1–3; Hebrews 9

Morning: Ezekiel 1–3
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 9
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Ezekiel 1–3 Ezekiel 1–3
     

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          Ezekiel 1–3
Ezekiel in Babylon
1 In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.1 On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.
The Glory of the Lord
As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal.2 And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf's foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit3 would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.4 As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions5 without turning as they went. And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures6 was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads. And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its body. And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings. And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.
And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire;7 and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.8 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
Ezekiel's Call
2 And he said to me, “Son of man,9 stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions.10 Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.
“But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. And he spread it before me. And it had writing on the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe.
3 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.
And he said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel—not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ whether they hear or refuse to hear.”
Then the Spirit11 lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice12 of a great earthquake: “Blessed be the glory of the LORD from its place!” It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake. The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the LORD being strong upon me. And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling.13 And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.
A Watchman for Israel
And at the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for14 his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”
And the hand of the LORD was upon me there. And he said to me, “Arise, go out into the valley,15 and there I will speak with you.” So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the Chebar canal, and I fell on my face. But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, “Go, shut yourself within your house. And you, O son of man, behold, cords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people. And I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house. But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ He who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house.

Footnotes
[1] 1:1 Or from God

[2] 1:4 Or amber; also verse 27

[3] 1:12 Or Spirit; also twice in verse 20 and once in verse 21

[4] 1:15 Hebrew of their faces

[5] 1:17 Hebrew on their four sides

[6] 1:20 Or the spirit of life; also verse 21

[7] 1:26 Or lapis lazuli

[8] 1:27 Or it

[9] 2:1 Or Son of Adam; so throughout Ezekiel

[10] 2:6 Or on scorpion plants

[11] 3:12 Or the wind; also verse 14

[12] 3:12 Or sound

[13] 3:15 Or Chebar, and to where they dwelt

[14] 3:18 Or in; also verses 19, 20

[15] 3:22 Or plain; also verse 23


(ESV)
       
     
   
     
        Evening: Hebrews 9 Hebrews 9
     

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          Hebrews 9
The Earthly Holy Place
9 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. For a tent1 was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence.2 It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second section3 called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age).4 According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
Redemption Through the Blood of Christ
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come,5 then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify6 for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our7 conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.8 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Footnotes
[1] 9:2 Or tabernacle; also verses 11, 21

[2] 9:2 Greek the presentation of the loaves

[3] 9:3 Greek tent; also verses 6, 8

[4] 9:9 Or which is symbolic for the age then present

[5] 9:11 Some manuscripts good things to come

[6] 9:13 Or For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies

[7] 9:14 Some manuscripts your

[8] 9:15 The Greek word means both covenant and will; also verses 16, 17


(ESV)
       
     
   
 

  © 2017 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.

Source: November 12: Ezekiel 1–3; Hebrews 9
8
Devotions & Studies / November 11: Lamentations 3–5; Hebrews 8
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 12, 2017, 06:14:31 AM »
November 11: Lamentations 3–5; Hebrews 8

Morning: Lamentations 3–5
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 8
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Lamentations 3–5 Lamentations 3–5
     

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          Lamentations 3–5
Great Is Your Faithfulness

3   I am the man who has seen affliction    under the rod of his wrath;  he has driven and brought me    into darkness without any light;  surely against me he turns his hand    again and again the whole day long.

  He has made my flesh and my skin waste away;    he has broken my bones;  he has besieged and enveloped me    with bitterness and tribulation;  he has made me dwell in darkness    like the dead of long ago.

  He has walled me about so that I cannot escape;    he has made my chains heavy;  though I call and cry for help,    he shuts out my prayer;  he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones;    he has made my paths crooked.

  He is a bear lying in wait for me,    a lion in hiding;  he turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces;    he has made me desolate;  he bent his bow and set me    as a target for his arrow.

  He drove into my kidneys    the arrows of his quiver;  I have become the laughingstock of all peoples,    the object of their taunts all day long.  He has filled me with bitterness;    he has sated me with wormwood.

  He has made my teeth grind on gravel,    and made me cower in ashes;  my soul is bereft of peace;    I have forgotten what happiness1 is;  so I say, “My endurance has perished;    so has my hope from the LORD.”

  Remember my affliction and my wanderings,    the wormwood and the gall!  My soul continually remembers it    and is bowed down within me.  But this I call to mind,    and therefore I have hope:

  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;2    his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning;    great is your faithfulness.  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,    “therefore I will hope in him.”

  The LORD is good to those who wait for him,    to the soul who seeks him.  It is good that one should wait quietly    for the salvation of the LORD.  It is good for a man that he bear    the yoke in his youth.

  Let him sit alone in silence    when it is laid on him;  let him put his mouth in the dust—    there may yet be hope;  let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,    and let him be filled with insults.

  For the Lord will not    cast off forever,  but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;  for he does not afflict from his heart    or grieve the children of men.

  To crush underfoot    all the prisoners of the earth,  to deny a man justice    in the presence of the Most High,  to subvert a man in his lawsuit,    the Lord does not approve.

  Who has spoken and it came to pass,    unless the Lord has commanded it?  Is it not from the mouth of the Most High    that good and bad come?  Why should a living man complain,    a man, about the punishment of his sins?

  Let us test and examine our ways,    and return to the LORD!  Let us lift up our hearts and hands    to God in heaven:  “We have transgressed and rebelled,    and you have not forgiven.

  “You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,    killing without pity;  you have wrapped yourself with a cloud    so that no prayer can pass through.  You have made us scum and garbage    among the peoples.

  “All our enemies    open their mouths against us;  panic and pitfall have come upon us,    devastation and destruction;  my eyes flow with rivers of tears    because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.

  “My eyes will flow without ceasing,    without respite,  until the LORD from heaven    looks down and sees;  my eyes cause me grief    at the fate of all the daughters of my city.

  “I have been hunted like a bird    by those who were my enemies without cause;  they flung me alive into the pit    and cast stones on me;  water closed over my head;    I said, ‘I am lost.’

  “I called on your name, O LORD,    from the depths of the pit;  you heard my plea, ‘Do not close    your ear to my cry for help!’  You came near when I called on you;    you said, ‘Do not fear!’

  “You have taken up my cause, O Lord;    you have redeemed my life.  You have seen the wrong done to me, O LORD;    judge my cause.  You have seen all their vengeance,    all their plots against me.

  “You have heard their taunts, O LORD,    all their plots against me.  The lips and thoughts of my assailants    are against me all the day long.  Behold their sitting and their rising;    I am the object of their taunts.

  “You will repay them,3 O LORD,    according to the work of their hands.  You will give them4 dullness of heart;    your curse will be5 on them.  You will pursue them6 in anger and destroy them    from under your heavens, O LORD.”7
The Holy Stones Lie Scattered

4   How the gold has grown dim,    how the pure gold is changed!  The holy stones lie scattered    at the head of every street.

  The precious sons of Zion,    worth their weight in fine gold,  how they are regarded as earthen pots,    the work of a potter's hands!

  Even jackals offer the breast;    they nurse their young;  but the daughter of my people has become cruel,    like the ostriches in the wilderness.

  The tongue of the nursing infant sticks    to the roof of its mouth for thirst;  the children beg for food,    but no one gives to them.

  Those who once feasted on delicacies    perish in the streets;  those who were brought up in purple    embrace ash heaps.

  For the chastisement8 of the daughter of my people has been greater    than the punishment9 of Sodom,  which was overthrown in a moment,    and no hands were wrung for her.10

  Her princes were purer than snow,    whiter than milk;  their bodies were more ruddy than coral,    the beauty of their form11 was like sapphire.12

  Now their face is blacker than soot;    they are not recognized in the streets;  their skin has shriveled on their bones;    it has become as dry as wood.

  Happier were the victims of the sword    than the victims of hunger,  who wasted away, pierced    by lack of the fruits of the field.

  The hands of compassionate women    have boiled their own children;  they became their food    during the destruction of the daughter of my people.

  The LORD gave full vent to his wrath;    he poured out his hot anger,  and he kindled a fire in Zion    that consumed its foundations.

  The kings of the earth did not believe,    nor any of the inhabitants of the world,  that foe or enemy could enter    the gates of Jerusalem.

  This was for the sins of her prophets    and the iniquities of her priests,  who shed in the midst of her    the blood of the righteous.

  They wandered, blind, through the streets;    they were so defiled with blood  that no one was able to touch    their garments.

  “Away! Unclean!” people cried at them.    “Away! Away! Do not touch!”  So they became fugitives and wanderers;    people said among the nations,    “They shall stay with us no longer.”

  The LORD himself13 has scattered them;    he will regard them no more;  no honor was shown to the priests,    no favor to the elders.

  Our eyes failed, ever watching    vainly for help;  in our watching we watched    for a nation which could not save.

  They dogged our steps    so that we could not walk in our streets;  our end drew near; our days were numbered,    for our end had come.

  Our pursuers were swifter    than the eagles in the heavens;  they chased us on the mountains;    they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

  The breath of our nostrils, the LORD's anointed,    was captured in their pits,  of whom we said, “Under his shadow    we shall live among the nations.”

  Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,    you who dwell in the land of Uz;  but to you also the cup shall pass;    you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare.

  The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished;    he will keep you in exile no longer;14  but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish;    he will uncover your sins.
Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord

5   Remember, O LORD, what has befallen us;    look, and see our disgrace!  Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,    our homes to foreigners.  We have become orphans, fatherless;    our mothers are like widows.  We must pay for the water we drink;    the wood we get must be bought.  Our pursuers are at our necks;    we are weary; we are given no rest.  We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria,    to get bread enough.  Our fathers sinned, and are no more;    and we bear their iniquities.  Slaves rule over us;    there is none to deliver us from their hand.  We get our bread at the peril of our lives,    because of the sword in the wilderness.  Our skin is hot as an oven    with the burning heat of famine.  Women are raped in Zion,    young women in the towns of Judah.  Princes are hung up by their hands;    no respect is shown to the elders.  Young men are compelled to grind at the mill,    and boys stagger under loads of wood.  The old men have left the city gate,    the young men their music.  The joy of our hearts has ceased;    our dancing has been turned to mourning.  The crown has fallen from our head;    woe to us, for we have sinned!  For this our heart has become sick,    for these things our eyes have grown dim,  for Mount Zion which lies desolate;    jackals prowl over it.  But you, O LORD, reign forever;    your throne endures to all generations.  Why do you forget us forever,    why do you forsake us for so many days?  Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored!    Renew our days as of old—  unless you have utterly rejected us,    and you remain exceedingly angry with us.

Footnotes
[1] 3:17 Hebrew good

[2] 3:22 Syriac, Targum; Hebrew Because of the steadfast love of the Lord, we are not cut off

[3] 3:64 Or Repay them

[4] 3:65 Or Give them

[5] 3:65 Or place your curse

[6] 3:66 Or Pursue them

[7] 3:66 Syriac (compare Septuagint, Vulgate); Hebrew the heavens of the Lord

[8] 4:6 Or iniquity

[9] 4:6 Or sin

[10] 4:6 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

[11] 4:7 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

[12] 4:7 Hebrew lapis lazuli

[13] 4:16 Hebrew The face of the Lord

[14] 4:22 Or he will not exile you again


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        Evening: Hebrews 8 Hebrews 8
     

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          Hebrews 8
Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant
8 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent1 that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ2 has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
For he finds fault with them when he says:3

  “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel    and with the house of Judah,  not like the covenant that I made with their fathers    on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.  For they did not continue in my covenant,    and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel    after those days, declares the Lord:  I will put my laws into their minds,    and write them on their hearts,  and I will be their God,    and they shall be my people.  And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor    and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’  for they shall all know me,    from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,    and I will remember their sins no more.”
In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Footnotes
[1] 8:2 Or tabernacle; also verse 5

[2] 8:6 Greek he

[3] 8:8 Some manuscripts For finding fault with it he says to them


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  © 2017 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.

Source: November 11: Lamentations 3–5; Hebrews 8
9
Devotions & Studies / November 10: Lamentations 1–2; Hebrews 7
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 10, 2017, 06:39:42 PM »
November 10: Lamentations 1–2; Hebrews 7

Morning: Lamentations 1–2
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 7
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Lamentations 1–2 Lamentations 1–2
     

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          Lamentations 1–2
How Lonely Sits the City

1   How lonely sits the city    that was full of people!  How like a widow has she become,    she who was great among the nations!  She who was a princess among the provinces    has become a slave.

  She weeps bitterly in the night,    with tears on her cheeks;  among all her lovers    she has none to comfort her;  all her friends have dealt treacherously with her;    they have become her enemies.

  Judah has gone into exile because of affliction1    and hard servitude;  she dwells now among the nations,    but finds no resting place;  her pursuers have all overtaken her    in the midst of her distress.2

  The roads to Zion mourn,    for none come to the festival;  all her gates are desolate;    her priests groan;  her virgins have been afflicted,3    and she herself suffers bitterly.

  Her foes have become the head;    her enemies prosper,  because the LORD has afflicted her    for the multitude of her transgressions;  her children have gone away,    captives before the foe.

  From the daughter of Zion    all her majesty has departed.  Her princes have become like deer    that find no pasture;  they fled without strength    before the pursuer.

  Jerusalem remembers    in the days of her affliction and wandering  all the precious things    that were hers from days of old.  When her people fell into the hand of the foe,    and there was none to help her,  her foes gloated over her;    they mocked at her downfall.

  Jerusalem sinned grievously;    therefore she became filthy;  all who honored her despise her,    for they have seen her nakedness;  she herself groans    and turns her face away.

  Her uncleanness was in her skirts;    she took no thought of her future;4  therefore her fall is terrible;    she has no comforter.  “O LORD, behold my affliction,    for the enemy has triumphed!”

  The enemy has stretched out his hands    over all her precious things;  for she has seen the nations    enter her sanctuary,  those whom you forbade    to enter your congregation.

  All her people groan    as they search for bread;  they trade their treasures for food    to revive their strength.  “Look, O LORD, and see,    for I am despised.”

  “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?    Look and see  if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,    which was brought upon me,  which the LORD inflicted    on the day of his fierce anger.

  “From on high he sent fire;    into my bones5 he made it descend;  he spread a net for my feet;    he turned me back;  he has left me stunned,    faint all the day long.

  “My transgressions were bound6 into a yoke;    by his hand they were fastened together;  they were set upon my neck;    he caused my strength to fail;  the Lord gave me into the hands    of those whom I cannot withstand.

  “The Lord rejected    all my mighty men in my midst;  he summoned an assembly against me    to crush my young men;  the Lord has trodden as in a winepress    the virgin daughter of Judah.

  “For these things I weep;    my eyes flow with tears;  for a comforter is far from me,    one to revive my spirit;  my children are desolate,    for the enemy has prevailed.”

  Zion stretches out her hands,    but there is none to comfort her;  the LORD has commanded against Jacob    that his neighbors should be his foes;  Jerusalem has become    a filthy thing among them.

  “The LORD is in the right,    for I have rebelled against his word;  but hear, all you peoples,    and see my suffering;  my young women and my young men    have gone into captivity.

  “I called to my lovers,    but they deceived me;  my priests and elders    perished in the city,  while they sought food    to revive their strength.

  “Look, O LORD, for I am in distress;    my stomach churns;  my heart is wrung within me,    because I have been very rebellious.  In the street the sword bereaves;    in the house it is like death.

  “They heard7 my groaning,    yet there is no one to comfort me.  All my enemies have heard of my trouble;    they are glad that you have done it.  You have brought8 the day you announced;    now let them be as I am.

  “Let all their evildoing come before you,    and deal with them  as you have dealt with me    because of all my transgressions;  for my groans are many,    and my heart is faint.”
The Lord Has Destroyed Without Pity

2   How the Lord in his anger    has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!  He has cast down from heaven to earth    the splendor of Israel;  he has not remembered his footstool    in the day of his anger.

  The Lord has swallowed up without mercy    all the habitations of Jacob;  in his wrath he has broken down    the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;  he has brought down to the ground in dishonor    the kingdom and its rulers.

  He has cut down in fierce anger    all the might of Israel;  he has withdrawn from them his right hand    in the face of the enemy;  he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,    consuming all around.

  He has bent his bow like an enemy,    with his right hand set like a foe;  and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes    in the tent of the daughter of Zion;  he has poured out his fury like fire.

  The Lord has become like an enemy;    he has swallowed up Israel;  he has swallowed up all its palaces;    he has laid in ruins its strongholds,  and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah    mourning and lamentation.

  He has laid waste his booth like a garden,    laid in ruins his meeting place;  the LORD has made Zion forget    festival and Sabbath,  and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.

  The Lord has scorned his altar,    disowned his sanctuary;  he has delivered into the hand of the enemy    the walls of her palaces;  they raised a clamor in the house of the LORD    as on the day of festival.

  The LORD determined to lay in ruins    the wall of the daughter of Zion;  he stretched out the measuring line;    he did not restrain his hand from destroying;  he caused rampart and wall to lament;    they languished together.

  Her gates have sunk into the ground;    he has ruined and broken her bars;  her king and princes are among the nations;    the law is no more,  and her prophets find    no vision from the LORD.

  The elders of the daughter of Zion    sit on the ground in silence;  they have thrown dust on their heads    and put on sackcloth;  the young women of Jerusalem    have bowed their heads to the ground.

  My eyes are spent with weeping;    my stomach churns;  my bile is poured out to the ground    because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,  because infants and babies faint    in the streets of the city.

  They cry to their mothers,    “Where is bread and wine?”  as they faint like a wounded man    in the streets of the city,  as their life is poured out    on their mothers' bosom.

  What can I say for you, to what compare you,    O daughter of Jerusalem?  What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,    O virgin daughter of Zion?  For your ruin is vast as the sea;    who can heal you?

  Your prophets have seen for you    false and deceptive visions;  they have not exposed your iniquity    to restore your fortunes,  but have seen for you oracles    that are false and misleading.

  All who pass along the way    clap their hands at you;  they hiss and wag their heads    at the daughter of Jerusalem:  “Is this the city that was called    the perfection of beauty,    the joy of all the earth?”

  All your enemies    rail against you;  they hiss, they gnash their teeth,    they cry: “We have swallowed her!  Ah, this is the day we longed for;    now we have it; we see it!”

  The LORD has done what he purposed;    he has carried out his word,  which he commanded long ago;    he has thrown down without pity;  he has made the enemy rejoice over you    and exalted the might of your foes.

  Their heart cried to the Lord.    O wall of the daughter of Zion,  let tears stream down like a torrent    day and night!  Give yourself no rest,    your eyes no respite!

  “Arise, cry out in the night,    at the beginning of the night watches!  Pour out your heart like water    before the presence of the Lord!  Lift your hands to him    for the lives of your children,  who faint for hunger    at the head of every street.”

  Look, O LORD, and see!    With whom have you dealt thus?  Should women eat the fruit of their womb,    the children of their tender care?  Should priest and prophet be killed    in the sanctuary of the Lord?

  In the dust of the streets    lie the young and the old;  my young women and my young men    have fallen by the sword;  you have killed them in the day of your anger,    slaughtering without pity.

  You summoned as if to a festival day    my terrors on every side,  and on the day of the anger of the LORD    no one escaped or survived;  those whom I held and raised    my enemy destroyed.

Footnotes
[1] 1:3 Or under affliction

[2] 1:3 Or in the narrow passes

[3] 1:4 Septuagint, Old Latin dragged away

[4] 1:9 Or end

[5] 1:13 Septuagint; Hebrew bones and

[6] 1:14 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

[7] 1:21 Septuagint, Syriac Hear

[8] 1:21 Syriac Bring


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        Evening: Hebrews 7 Hebrews 7
     

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          Hebrews 7
The Priestly Order of Melchizedek
7 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers,1 though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
Jesus Compared to Melchizedek
Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him,

  “You are a priest forever,    after the order of Melchizedek.”
For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:

  “The Lord has sworn    and will not change his mind,  ‘You are a priest forever.’”
This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost2 those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Footnotes
[1] 7:5 Or brothers and sisters

[2] 7:25 That is, completely; or at all times


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Source: November 10: Lamentations 1–2; Hebrews 7
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Devotions & Studies / November 9: Jeremiah 51–52; Hebrews 6
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on November 10, 2017, 12:08:33 PM »
November 9: Jeremiah 51–52; Hebrews 6

Morning: Jeremiah 51–52
       
     
       
          Evening: Hebrews 6
       
     
   

   
     
        Morning: Jeremiah 51–52 Jeremiah 51–52
     

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          Jeremiah 51–52
The Utter Destruction of Babylon

51   Thus says the LORD:  “Behold, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer    against Babylon,    against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai,1  and I will send to Babylon winnowers,    and they shall winnow her,  and they shall empty her land,    when they come against her from every side    on the day of trouble.  Let not the archer bend his bow,    and let him not stand up in his armor.  Spare not her young men;    devote to destruction2 all her army.  They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans,    and wounded in her streets.  For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken    by their God, the LORD of hosts,  but the land of the Chaldeans3 is full of guilt    against the Holy One of Israel.

  “Flee from the midst of Babylon;    let every one save his life!  Be not cut off in her punishment,    for this is the time of the LORD's vengeance,    the repayment he is rendering her.  Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD's hand,    making all the earth drunken;  the nations drank of her wine;    therefore the nations went mad.  Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;    wail for her!  Take balm for her pain;    perhaps she may be healed.  We would have healed Babylon,    but she was not healed.  Forsake her, and let us go    each to his own country,  for her judgment has reached up to heaven    and has been lifted up even to the skies.  The LORD has brought about our vindication;    come, let us declare in Zion    the work of the LORD our God.

  “Sharpen the arrows!    Take up the shields!
The LORD has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance for his temple.

  “Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon;    make the watch strong;  set up watchmen;    prepare the ambushes;  for the LORD has both planned and done    what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.  O you who dwell by many waters,    rich in treasures,  your end has come;    the thread of your life is cut.  The LORD of hosts has sworn by himself:  Surely I will fill you with men, as many as locusts,    and they shall raise the shout of victory over you.

  “It is he who made the earth by his power,    who established the world by his wisdom,  and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.  When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,    and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.  He makes lightning for the rain,    and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.  Every man is stupid and without knowledge;    every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,  for his images are false,    and there is no breath in them.  They are worthless, a work of delusion;    at the time of their punishment they shall perish.  Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob,    for he is the one who formed all things,  and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;    the LORD of hosts is his name.

  “You are my hammer and weapon of war:  with you I break nations in pieces;    with you I destroy kingdoms;  with you I break in pieces the horse and his rider;    with you I break in pieces the chariot and the charioteer;  with you I break in pieces man and woman;    with you I break in pieces the old man and the youth;  with you I break in pieces the young man and the young woman;    with you I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock;  with you I break in pieces the farmer and his team;    with you I break in pieces governors and commanders.
“I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, declares the LORD.

  “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,      declares the LORD,    which destroys the whole earth;  I will stretch out my hand against you,    and roll you down from the crags,    and make you a burnt mountain.  No stone shall be taken from you for a corner    and no stone for a foundation,  but you shall be a perpetual waste,    declares the LORD.

  “Set up a standard on the earth;    blow the trumpet among the nations;  prepare the nations for war against her;    summon against her the kingdoms,    Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz;  appoint a marshal against her;    bring up horses like bristling locusts.  Prepare the nations for war against her,    the kings of the Medes, with their governors and deputies,    and every land under their dominion.  The land trembles and writhes in pain,    for the LORD's purposes against Babylon stand,  to make the land of Babylon a desolation,    without inhabitant.  The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting;    they remain in their strongholds;  their strength has failed;    they have become women;  her dwellings are on fire;    her bars are broken.  One runner runs to meet another,    and one messenger to meet another,  to tell the king of Babylon    that his city is taken on every side;  the fords have been seized,    the marshes are burned with fire,    and the soldiers are in panic.  For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:  The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor    at the time when it is trodden;  yet a little while    and the time of her harvest will come.”

  “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me;    he has crushed me;  he has made me an empty vessel;    he has swallowed me like a monster;  he has filled his stomach with my delicacies;    he has rinsed me out.4  The violence done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon,”    let the inhabitant of Zion say.  “My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,”    let Jerusalem say.  Therefore thus says the LORD:  “Behold, I will plead your cause    and take vengeance for you.  I will dry up her sea    and make her fountain dry,  and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins,    the haunt of jackals,  a horror and a hissing,    without inhabitant.

  “They shall roar together like lions;    they shall growl like lions' cubs.  While they are inflamed I will prepare them a feast    and make them drunk, that they may become merry,  then sleep a perpetual sleep    and not wake, declares the LORD.  I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,    like rams and male goats.

  “How Babylon5 is taken,    the praise of the whole earth seized!  How Babylon has become    a horror among the nations!  The sea has come up on Babylon;    she is covered with its tumultuous waves.  Her cities have become a horror,    a land of drought and a desert,  a land in which no one dwells,    and through which no son of man passes.  And I will punish Bel in Babylon,    and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed.  The nations shall no longer flow to him;    the wall of Babylon has fallen.

  “Go out of the midst of her, my people!    Let every one save his life    from the fierce anger of the LORD!  Let not your heart faint, and be not fearful    at the report heard in the land,  when a report comes in one year    and afterward a report in another year,  and violence is in the land,    and ruler is against ruler.

  “Therefore, behold, the days are coming    when I will punish the images of Babylon;  her whole land shall be put to shame,    and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.  Then the heavens and the earth,    and all that is in them,  shall sing for joy over Babylon,    for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north,      declares the LORD.  Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel,    just as for Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.

  “You who have escaped from the sword,    go, do not stand still!  Remember the LORD from far away,    and let Jerusalem come into your mind:  ‘We are put to shame, for we have heard reproach;    dishonor has covered our face,  for foreigners have come    into the holy places of the LORD's house.’

  “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD,    when I will execute judgment upon her images,  and through all her land    the wounded shall groan.  Though Babylon should mount up to heaven,    and though she should fortify her strong height,  yet destroyers would come from me against her,    declares the LORD.

  “A voice! A cry from Babylon!    The noise of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!  For the LORD is laying Babylon waste    and stilling her mighty voice.  Their waves roar like many waters;    the noise of their voice is raised,  for a destroyer has come upon her,    upon Babylon;  her warriors are taken;    their bows are broken in pieces,  for the LORD is a God of recompense;    he will surely repay.  I will make drunk her officials and her wise men,    her governors, her commanders, and her warriors;  they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake,    declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

  “Thus says the LORD of hosts:  The broad wall of Babylon    shall be leveled to the ground,  and her high gates    shall be burned with fire.  The peoples labor for nothing,    and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”
The word that Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah king of Judah to Babylon, in the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was the quartermaster. Jeremiah wrote in a book all the disaster that should come upon Babylon, all these words that are written concerning Babylon. And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, and say, ‘O LORD, you have said concerning this place that you will cut it off, so that nothing shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, and it shall be desolate forever.’ When you finish reading this book, tie a stone to it and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates, and say, ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disaster that I am bringing upon her, and they shall become exhausted.’”
Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
The Fall of Jerusalem Recounted
52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For because of the anger of the LORD it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.
And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled and went out from the city by night by the way of a gate between the two walls, by the king's garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at Riblah. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in chains, and the king of Babylon took him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.
The Temple Burned
In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month—that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. And he burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poorest of the people and the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the artisans. But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.
And the pillars of bronze that were in the house of the LORD, and the stands and the bronze sea that were in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried all the bronze to Babylon. And they took away the pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the basins and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service; also the small bowls and the fire pans and the basins and the pots and the lampstands and the dishes for incense and the bowls for drink offerings. What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver. As for the two pillars, the one sea, the twelve bronze bulls that were under the sea,6 and the stands, which Solomon the king had made for the house of the LORD, the bronze of all these things was beyond weight. As for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits,7 its circumference was twelve cubits, and its thickness was four fingers, and it was hollow. On it was a capital of bronze. The height of the one capital was five cubits. A network and pomegranates, all of bronze, were around the capital. And the second pillar had the same, with pomegranates. There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were a hundred upon the network all around.
The People Exiled to Babylon
And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold; and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and seven men of the king's council, who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the midst of the city. And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.
This is the number of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year, 3,023 Judeans; in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem 832 persons; in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Judeans 745 persons; all the persons were 4,600.
Jehoiachin Released from Prison
And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed8 Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king's table, and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, until the day of his death, as long as he lived.

Footnotes
[1] 51:1 A code name for Chaldea

[2] 51:3 That is, set apart (devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)

[3] 51:5 Hebrew their land

[4] 51:34 Or he has expelled me

[5] 51:41 Hebrew Sheshach, a code name for Babylon

[6] 52:20 Hebrew lacks the sea

[7] 52:21 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters

[8] 52:31 Hebrew reign, lifted up the head of


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        Evening: Hebrews 6 Hebrews 6
     

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          Hebrews 6
6 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings,1 the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The Certainty of God's Promise
For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham,2 having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Footnotes
[1] 6:2 Or baptisms (that is, cleansing rites)

[2] 6:15 Greek he


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Source: November 9: Jeremiah 51–52; Hebrews 6
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